So after seeing Gizmodo's sample pictures from the Galaxy Nexus, I can't say I was disappointed, but I was a little surprised to see how bad the pictures looked against comparable phones in the market. They weren't bad, but they lacked that "punch" that people like to see in photos (and I'm not talking about over saturation either). First thing that jumped out to me was that white balance was too cool in most Nexus photos, saturation and contrast were on the low side, and sharpness was a little hazy.
So I looked at the exif data of the grocery store photo, here's the details: Jeffrey's Exif viewer
You can see that the white balance was calculated by the camera to be Tungsten/Incandescent. That is simply WRONG, that's why the pic look blue/cool overall. Grocery stores typically have fluorescent lighting, not tungsten/incandescent. Even the photo from the GSII looks too cool. The Rezound and the iPhone seemed to get the white balance right.
Also looking at the exif data, you can see that Saturation, Contrast, and Sharpness were all set to Normal. I feel pretty confident that if we crank these up in the camera's settings we'll get some pretty good pics. White balance unfortunately won't be that easy, I'm afraid. You may have to rely on post-editing to get the white balance just right. I use PicSay Pro for white balance edits since it gives you nice control over Temperature and Tint, both of which comprise the white balance. My expensive DSLR setup doesn't always get the white balance right either. White Balance is a huge deal in photography and one of the most important parameters of a photo. And it's no secret that even the best cameras get white balance wrong, so I'm not really worried here.
I was mainly concerned with the lack of contrast/saturation/sharpness that was evident in Gizmodo's photos, but I think that can be easily fixed in the settings. In fact, I took the Nexus photo and tweaked a few levels in Photoshop's Camera RAW editor. I made some white balance, contrast, brightness, clarity, and sharpness tweaks. The final image looks much better than the SGII photo (because of the white balance) and even looks as good as the iPhone pic IMO.
So what do you guys think? If this is a software issue, how do we go about getting this fixed? Or do you just deal with having to fiddle with the camera settings and fix a few things afterwards in post-editing? Overall, I'm not worried about the camera. I'm sure it will be fine.
Here's the pictures again, including the one I edited.